PhD candidates

Promoted and ongoing PhD candidates of whom I was/am the daily supervisor and co-promoter. All projects are in collaboration with other promoters indicated below.


  1. Peter van der WalPeter van der Wal
    Robust Learning of Sparse Representations with Brain-inspired Inhibition The aim of this project is to investigate the role of inhibition inspired by the visual system of the brain with respect to a) energy efficiency, b) sparse representation and c) robustness to perturbations. His project is funded by the CogniGron Center of the University of Groningen.
  2. Sabatino Esposito
    Face analysis in the wild for social robotics. He is a double doctorate candidate affiliated with the University of Salerno and the University of Groningen. His other promoters are Prof. Mario Vento and Prof. Dimka Karastoyonava.
  3. Steven Ndung'u MachethoSteven N. Machetho
    Computer-aided Analysis of Radio Astronomy Data. The aim of this project is to develop tools that aid the analysis of very large datasets of high-resolution images generated by modern advanced radio telescopes (data deluge of ~1 TByte/s, for SKA). This will include development of automated algorithms that would detect, classify and index anomalous features in a scalable way. The aforementioned raw data will be transformed to science-ready data products such as image cubes.
  4. Anusha AswathAnusha Aswath
    Large-scale segmentation of electron microscope images. Her studies are funded by the Data Science & Systems Complexity (DSSC) of the University of Groningen. She is involved in an interdisciplinary project between the department of Nano Anatomy (UMCG) and the Information Systems group (Bernoulli Institute). She is investigating deep-learning based approaches for the automatic segmentation of tissue structures in very large images generated by high-end electron microscopes. Her other promotors are Prof. Ben Giepmans (UMCG) and Prof. Dimka Karastoyanova.


  1. Xueyi WangXueyi Wang
    Fall detection with wearable cameras. Defense: 4 March 2024, University of Groningen. His PhD studies were supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC). He investigated how pattern recognition can be used to detect and recognise false from egocentric vision. His other promotor is Prof. Dimka Karastoyanova (University of Groningen).
  2. Guru Swaroop BennabhaktulaGuru Swaroop Bennabhaktula
    Leveraging Image Noise: Source Camera Identification and Increased Robustness of Convolutional Neural Networks. Defense: 18 May 2023, University of Groningen. His studies were partially funded from the EU project 4NSEEK “Forensic Against Sexual Exploitation of Children” through the financing program Internal Security Fund – Police, ISFP-2017-AG-CYBER. He explored how machine learning and computer vision techniques could be used for source camera identification from digital images based on sensor pattern noise and image metadata. His other promotors are Prof. Enrique Alegre (University of Leon) and Prof. Dimka Karastoyanova (University of Groningen).
  3. Chenyu ShiChenyu Shi
    Computer-aided Diagnosis Technologies in Medicine. Defense: 10 May 2022, University of Groningen. He investigated computer vision approaches for the development of a computer-aided diagnosis system for the detection and classification of blistering (skin) diseases. His work was in collaboration with the University Medical Centre of Groningen (UMCG). His other promotor is Prof. Nicolai Petkov (University of Groningen).
  4. Ahmad AlsahafAhmad Alsahaf
    Feature selection and intelligent livestock management. Defense: 4 December 2020, University of Groningen. His PhD studies were supported from the SMARTBREED project funded by NWO. He proposed machine learning techniques that contribute in the intelligent livestock management. His other promotors are Prof. Nicolai Petkov (University of Groningen) and Prof. Roel Veerkamp (University of Wageningen).
  5. Jiapan GuoJiapan Guo
    Brain-inspired computer vision with applications to pattern recognition and computer-aided diagnosis of glaucoma. Defense: 4 December 2017, University of Groningen. Her PhD studies are focused on brain-inspired computer vision with application to retinal image analysis. In particular she developed a computer-assisted diagnosis system for the detection of glaucoma. Her other promotor is Prof. Nicolai Petkov (University of Groningen).
  6. Andreas NeocleousAndreas Neocleous
    Computing expert’s intelligence: a case in bio-medicine and a case in musicology. Defense: 13 December 2016, University of Groningen. The other promotors are Prof. Nicolai Petkov (University of Groningen) and Prof. Christos Schizas (University of Cyprus).
  7. photo_idNicola Strisciuglio
    Bio-inspired algorithms for pattern recognition in audio and image processing. Defense: 10 June 2016, University of Groningen (cum laude). The other promotors are Prof. Nicolai Petkov (University of Groningen) and Prof. Mario Vento (University of Salerno).